contact lenses and salt water

Old Aug 18th, 2005, 09:04 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
contact lenses and salt water

Hi,

Is it OK to wear contact lenses while swimming in salt water? Would it be OK for snorkelling? I much prefer contact lenses to glasses and I have swum with my contacts in several pools/lakes without incident.

Thanks in advance!
rainforest is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2005, 09:08 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've worn contact lenses snorkeling with no problems, but the mask protects my eyes from the water.

When I got contacts a zillion years ago, the man who fit them said the only time he'd ever lost a pair was swimming, so I've never swum in mine without a mask or goggles.
abram is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2005, 09:57 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 26
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It depends what type of contact lenses you have. Soft contact lenses act like a sponge and easily absorb contaminants, which could cause irritation or infection/corneal ulcers. The biggest water risks with CLs are from hot tubs. I've seen some SCLs change shape and power due to some solutions, but I'm not sure what salt water would do. It's always safest to not wear SCLs while swimming. However, in the same breath, it's safest not to wear CLs overnight. And many people do this without harm!! Now if you wear rigid gas permeables (RGPs), then I wouldn't risk it. Even though they don't absorb like sponges, they can easily dislodge and you could lose it. If you wear some type of protective mask/eyegoggles, then I think the CLs are probably OK. Sorry to get long winded on the topic!
Ms_Jingles is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2005, 10:02 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 415
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Funny--I just posted a question about prescription snorkel masks!
Alisa is offline  
Old Aug 18th, 2005, 10:51 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
if you open your eyes under water w/o goggles, the contact could slip out, unless you squint. saltwater, chlorinated pool, hot tub, doesn't matter where. i've lost them far away while in a pool. i had spares in my luggages, plus prescription sunglasses.
muffin_eater is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 06:12 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our othomologist said it's not a good idea to swim with contacts because bacteria in the water will sit behind the lenses and can create problems.
seetheworld is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 06:21 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,759
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some of the cons mentioned are why they now make disposable contacts. I wear mine all the time while swimming & have had a couple 'float' on me but have never lost one.
SAnParis is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 06:29 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 203
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wear disposable soft contact lenses. I wear them swimming all the time, as I am pretty much blind without them. I usually keep several old pair to swim with in salt or lake water, so that I can just throw them away after. That way, you don't have to worry about them holding bacteria.

I will admit, though, that I've never asked my doctor about this, so this is just my experience, not a medical opinion!
KatieL is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 08:18 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 985
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it may also depend on how sensitive your eyes are. Salt water burns my eyes. I can't imagine how it would be if they started burning with contacts in.
aileen679 is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 09:50 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 735
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have swam in the ocean in my contacts since I was 18. (as well as the pool) I have never lost one or had any problem at all. What I have lost are sunglasses, but that's another story. If you swim in lakes with your contacts, the ocean should be no trouble. After all, your tears are salty, no?
Litespeed_Chick is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 10:35 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 605
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I forgot to inform y'all that she's now 19 years old.
fehgeddaboudit is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 11:10 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 26
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fehgeddaboudit -- that's hilarious!! You do have some funny comments. Your ID is actually my favorite line from 'Mickey Blue Eyes' with Hugh Grant.

Litespeed, your tears do contain lysozyme, to help fight against certain bacteria with cell walls. However, the biggest concern with lakes, oceans, pools, and hot tubs is a parasite that causes acanthamoeba keratitis. This mainly affects CL wearers. The condition causes a corneal ulcer, scarring, and could lead to blindness. That is why it's always best to not wear CLs while swimming. The condition might be rare (1:30,000 CL wearers), but I sure wouldn't want to be the one who gets it.




Ms_Jingles is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 11:14 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 453
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Can you call up your Dr's office and ask? They may know your particular product the best.
AHaugeto is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2005, 11:15 AM
  #14  
GoTravel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I've worn contact lenses almost all my life and I've lived on the beach for the past 20 years so I feel qualified to answer this question.

Yes, you can wear your contacts while swimming in salt water.

I've never lost a contact in the ocean or in a pool.

Yes, the salt water can irritate your eyes if you are in the water for too long.

The most frequent thing that happens to me is that one will feel like it is 'drying up' and get lost in my eye. As soon as I blink a couple of times, it drops back over my cornea.
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
JC98
United States
31
Oct 19th, 2015 06:14 AM
Patty
United States
13
Jun 4th, 2008 08:06 PM
dutyfree
Asia
18
Jun 4th, 2007 10:31 AM
peeky
Europe
30
Jul 9th, 2005 07:35 PM
nn
Caribbean Islands
7
Mar 23rd, 2003 03:11 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -